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Telecom executive poached for Aust broadband

By Benn Bathgate

Friday 26th August 2011

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Telecom NZ's chief marketing officer, Kieren Cooney, 38, has been poached to run communications for Australia's controversial national broadband network (NBN) from November.

Cooney won the position after a three-month global search.

He will move to Sydney with his wife and nine-year-old son, and told the Sydney Morning Herald the new role at the infrastructure giant was exciting and "a once in a career opportunity".

"It feels like a real privilege to be involved with this type of initiative, which is truly about nation building and building the next capability for Australians," he said.

Cooney said his role would be to ensure that the debate and scrutiny around the national broadband network was well informed and balanced.

While his role would not be a political one, a large part of it would be liaising with the Australian Government.

NBN Co has more than 700 employees and in May said it would be taking on 1000 new employees across the operation over the next 12 months. At the peak of broadband rollout, the company has forecast that it will have between 16,000 to 18,000 full time or contract engineering staff.

Before joining Telecom NZ, Cooney was chief executive at phone retailer Leading Edge, and an international marketer with Vodafone.

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